Let The Ass Kicking Commence
When it comes to the fact that oil continues to spew into the gulf from the well dug by British Petroleum, President Barack Obama just can’t catch a break. A lot of people were disappointed to see Mr. Obama face this unnatural disaster with his well known cool and calm demeanor. Some people interpret his composure as Mr. Obama being aloof and uncaring. They will say that he needs to get fired up and has to talk to the people. And so Mr. Obama goes to the other extreme, at least for him. During an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC, Mr. Obama talks about doing what he can to find out whose ass to kick.
As far as whose ass to kick goes, I think that’s pretty simple. It starts with people who were on that Deepwater Horizon rig making inappropriate decisions for the sake of expediency and profit. The people on that rig were working for British Petroleum who should be held responsible for all that oil fouling up the environment. But the company was working with people in federal and state government offices who were more than happy to look the other way while corners were cut and worked with private industry to have regulations tossed out the window. And ultimately, we have to point the biggest damning finger at the American people who have become gluttons for cheap energy regardless of cost and its effects on the environment.
I actually heard that for each and every 24 hour period that all that oil pours into the gulf, tens of thousands of barrels of crude per day, all that oil would power all the automobiles in Texas for about two minutes. Even if the oil numbers were low balled and the amount of oil spilling was ten times the amount estimated, if we were to add up all the oil spilled since this whole ordeal began we are still talking about less than a day’s worth of automobile usage for the lone star state alone. Add all the other states in the union to the equation and you’d see that from a consumption perspective, this spill is just a little drop in the sweet crude, Texas tea barrel. We love oil. We love energy. We might feel bad about a pelican or a sea turtle covered in oil. But make no mistake, hardly anybody in America is about to change their ways and park their car and walk because of what’s happening off the coast of Louisiana.
Whose ass to kick? Ultimately, it would have to be the American people. When our political leadership does any talking about our excessive energy needs, the little hairs on our collective back starts to stick straight out. Fears of higher gasoline prices start to cloud our vision. Long lines at the gasoline station to fill all our sport utility vehicles and our 4×4 crew cab trucks and our multi cylinder sporty cars rippling with horsepower to spare fills our heads.
When the average price of gas closed in on four dollars a gallon we all were getting our ass kicked. Big vehicles with big motors began to collect on the lots of automobile dealerships. Small cars that were hardly the darling of many motorists found their way into more of our garages. People planned their trips a little better and did more to consolidate their vehicle excursions.
I passed a gas station this morning and the price of regular was less than two and a half dollars. Considering that the price of gas before Memorial Day was inching up to three bucks, for this time of year, that’s pretty phenomenal. Some people might disagree but undoubtedly we are enjoying some relatively low gasoline prices and we are wallowing in our good energy fortune like a pig wallowing in mud.
But in typical American fashion, more than enough is not near enough. We could have it even better if our government would just get out of the way. We have it good now but we need more. Remember all those people chanting their slogan for more drilling? It wasn’t because we needed it. It was nothing more than a call to satiate our insatiable appetite for more. And if we don’t get the more we want, it won’t be long before we start to feel like we’re getting our asses kicked.
So if Mr. Obama wants to kick the ass of whoever is ultimately responsible, we have seen the perpetrator and he or she is us. We sent the oil companies out into the gulf to drill for oil with our blessings. And now that the sordid matter is coming back to bite us we all want to howl righteous outrage and disgust at British Petroleum and/or the government official(s) we may despise the most.
However, the truth of the matter is that we the people were more than happy to set the wheels in motion all the bits for this disaster of epic proportions to form. We sat back and pushed energy companies further and further out to quench our thirst. It is us that is in need of a good ass kicking. If it takes jacking the price of a gallon of gasoline back up to four dollars in order for us to get our act together then so be it. Otherwise, we will go on with business as usual. People will forget this environmental disaster because, in all honesty, our collective memory is about as short as our collective vision. Not enough of us saw this coming. Not enough of us will remember. A year or two from now, we’ll forget all about this event and act like this whole affair was nothing but a blip on the energy radar. But if we somehow got our asses kicked, we’re less likely to forget this lesson.
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